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Gwen B.

Church Secretary
Daytona Beach, FL
Treated with SAVI – October 2008

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An astute primary care physician, yearly mammograms, and new technology saved my life. In April 2008, my mammogram showed a change in one of my many fibroid cysts. After more tests, including a needle biopsy, they found one small segment of cancer, so off I went to the radiation oncologist to determine what type of radiation would be appropriate.

I was hopeful a new technology a friend had experienced would be available to me. It involved placing a device into the cavity left by lumpectomy and irradiating just that area. I liked that the process could be completed in a week. I have a full-time job as a church secretary in a one-person office, so missing work means pulling in volunteers who already have busy lives. My good fortune (if there is such a thing with cancer) was that I was a candidate for SAVI and in early October my surgeon placed the device.

With SAVI, the ends of the catheters could easily be tucked into the top of my bra, so that anyone who saw me had no idea they were there. The only noticeable change to my office routine was the plethora of volunteers (each day, two different folks came to my rescue) and my twice-daily absences. I couldn’t stop working, so my treatments were scheduled early in the morning and late in the afternoon. I started treatment on a Wednesday, had the weekend off for rest and completed my radiation the following Tuesday.

I’m not a pushy individual, but like most women my age, I gladly share mammogram stories and how that procedure can be the start of a very “SAVI” story.